Local influencers: Cydney Washington
Welcome to Boston, Cydney! We are so excited to have you!
Short bio: A born and bred Texan, Washington received a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Texas at Austin with a double major in government and history. After graduating college, she accepted a position at the Bastrop Sleep Lab, where she was the chief administrator and head of marketing for over two years. During this time, Washington also was overseeing week-long medical clinics in rural Panama, Peru and Cambodia as a volunteer.
After moving to Washington D.C., Washington began work on a master’s degree in social policy and philosophy at the George Washington University. During this time, she also worked as a domestic initiatives intern for former members of congress as well as a congressional intern on the Hill. She has recently relocated to Somerville, where she and her husband live.
Who has been your most influential mentor? I’m a believer in the concept of being able to learn from just about anyone. However, if I had to point to a specific individual or set of individuals, at this particular moment, I would have to say my peers. I’ve probably learned more about the world and myself by learning with people than I ever have by other means. Peers are the ones with whom you can share living knowledge … knowledge that’s only beginning to take form and develop in your mind. That’s such a powerful part of the learning process, and (in my opinion) it’s by far the most influential.
How did you get where you are today? Honestly? An enduring choice to trust myself. Getting to this point is entirely the result of a whole series of choices, many of which had their fair share of risk. It was a kind of risk going to the far corners of the globe, where I didn’t speak the language, to run clinics with people I barely knew. It was a risk to leave all my family and friends in Austin to go to D.C. And coming here, leaving the life my husband and I had built in D.C., is a risk. But risk is a part of life and it is only by trusting yourself (and that the risk you’re taking will be worth it) that you can grow and progress.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years? I’ve come to see my role in this sector as being that of a consultant- working full time at a non-profit (or set of non-profits), applying what I’ve learned from my time in business administration in order to translate big ideas into big results for the common good.
What about this city inspires you? The variety and the unformed nature of it, almost like that feeling you get when you’re meeting a new person for the first time! It’s that exciting period of living somewhere when you mind is practically brimming over with questions and seemingly endless possibilities. This is that moment for me …when this city could literally be anything for me that I want it to be, and vice versa. That’s truly inspiring.
Finish these sentences:
Boston should be … a lot of fun to get to know!
Boston could be … a city that does a better job of keeping more of the brilliance it helps to develop.
Boston wants to be … relevant, on its own terms.
Boston needs … (re)definition.